- The reign of Shivaji was succeeded by his elder son, Shambuji, who was born in \(1657 \)at the fort of Purandhar in Pune. During his tenure, he witnessed the disputes for supremacy and to the throne.
- Shambuji, who during his earlier years served as the Mansabdars of Mughals, was against the liking of his father Shivaji. Aurangzeb’s son Akbar entered the political scene of Deccan during his reign.
The reign of Shambuji
- Shambuji started his conquest after ascending the throne against the local Chieftains who were ruling the fringe areas of the Maratha empire. He also allowed his soldiers to Plunder the conquered areas.
- Sensing the rise of another Maratha ruler, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb landed on Deccan to finish off Shambuji. At the same time, Shambuji was also dealing with the Siddis and the Portuguese.
BATTLE OF WAI: This battle was fought between the forces of Mughals and the Marathas in dense forest regions of Mahabaleshwar. Mughal forces were defeated by the Marathas.
- Shambuji’s position met trouble within the family, and slowly he lost his significance. Aurangzeb in meantime captured Golconda and Bijapur in \(1687\).
KAVI KALASH: He was the close friend and confidant of Shambuji who was serving as an advisor in the court of Shambuji.
The End of Shambuji
- In \(1689\), Aurangzeb captured both Shambuji and Kavi Kalash in Sangameshwar who were taken to Ahmednagar by Mughals. They were tortured and humiliated by the Mughal ruler and later they were executed.
The Rule of Shahu Maharaj
- After the death of Shambuji, his wife was taken into captivity by the Mughal ruler and Shambuji’s son Shahu Maharaj was born in \(1682 \)in captivity. It was the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb who named the child “Sahu (means the honest or the good one)”.
- The Mughal ruler initially planned to convert Shahu to Islam which he later didn’t do. Prince Asam Shah, son of Aurangzeb released Shahu post the death of his father and gave him the right to collect Sardeshmukh over six territories.
- Shahu created a small army with him to defend his territories as he was embroiled over the war for the Maratha throne with Tarabai, the wife of Raja ram, who was the claimant and ruler of Maratha at that time.
- Shahu ruled the empire for 40 years with Balaji Viswanath, who was an astute diplomat who helped Shahu to regain his throne.
- Shahu during his tenure expanded the territories of Marathas and also earned the goodwill of Local Chieftains of Maratha like the Holkars and Shinde’s etc.
- The Chauth tax was collected from almost all of his territories and the Maratha power reigned supreme under his seat.